Has the movie "12 years a slave" made things 'uncomfortable' for interracial couples?

Posted by James, 07 Nov 13

The horrors of slavery! Well, according to reviews, this is what this movie depicts. Its been dubbed a "blistering portrait of the human capacity for cruelty" . And apparently, there are some parts that are "unbearable to watch"; race don't matter in this case.

In the article "Yes, Interracial Couples Can Handle '12 Years a Slave", one of the readers who calls herself Film Fretting is rounding up her friends to go watch the movie. And since some of her black friends who have watched the movie have admitted that "they leave the theater finding themselves upset at white people in a general way that takes some time to get over" and that "they have looked at interracial (black/white) couples and wondered how strange they must feel seeing such a movie together because of all the issues it raises", she is wondering whether to bring along her older brother and his longtime girlfriend who is white into the mix because she doesn’t want them to feel uncomfortable.

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“Is there anything we should be concerned about how this might affect them as a couple. Is it insensitive or inappropriate to include them and risk the discomfort it might bring up? Or worse to leave them out?” she wonders.

Would you go watch the movie as a black-white interracial couple? Would you be comfortable watching it with a black-white interracial couple?

Well, for some people, difficult emotions, not only from the past but also present will definitely be aroused. And for black and white interracial couples, the decision to watch or not to watch the movie lies squarely on them. Marcia Dawkins who has examined data on the psychological impact of interracial relationships says, "...the successful interracial couples will not find situations like the one presented here ultimately uncomfortable." Some think it will spark conversation about complexities of slavery. Some may opt not to watch it because "all it does is bring up painful history" that they have "overcome and don't need to address."

To answer the Roots reader who is wondering whether to bring along her brother and his white girlfriend, the Root’s staff writer Jenée Desmond-Harris says:

"And, what if they can't? What if your brother thinks it's the most important movie of the decade and his girlfriend thinks it's a snooze? Worse, if they can't look at each other the same afterward? That's unlikely. But if it happens, they'll have this film about America's past to thank for the reality check that they don't see eye-to-eye, and their relationship just might be history, too"

I agree. If you can't move past the movie as a couple and its all about the past - something you had no control over - then maybe you weren't meant to be together in the first place.

Does the depiction of slavery in this movie really take people back? Do you think this movie might have a negative effect on black-white interracial couples? What are your thoughts?

6 responses to "Has the movie "12 years a slave" made things 'uncomfortable' for interracial couples?"

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  1.   NikkiRox says:
    Posted: 20 May 14

    I saw this movie with my father and oddly enough we didn't discuss it afterwards. I will have to ask him what he thought of the movie. I am not in an interracial relationship at the moment but if I were I would hope that I was with someone that could handle going to see a movie like this and we could discuss it afterwards like mature adults. I don't hold all White people accountable for what some of their ancestors did, nor should any White Person see me as less than because I am a descendant of slaves. I would hope a movie like this would help White People to see how inhumane Blacks were treated and they would determine to never repeat such treatment.

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  2.   DeeAnn says:
    Posted: 20 May 14

    What is up with the slave movies? The two or three main stars do not make me want to see this movie. What is the reason point? Lets move on...

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  3.   subbob says:
    Posted: 14 Nov 13

    I would not hesitate to take a date to see it, just as I took a Black lady to see Django Unchained....I think we are all well aware of the history of slavery at this point, and these movies promote salient conversation points, at the very least.....I have been with 8-10 Black ladies, and don't think any of them would have had problems attending this movie with me.......having said that, if someone does have a palpable level of discomfort with this subject, it may be wise that they refrain from attending....subbob

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  4.   ninjacyborg says:
    Posted: 08 Nov 13

    Stoking the fires of racial class gender ethnic acrimony through obvious propaganda in every way possible. There will be no reconciliation if our banker masters have anything to say about it. Thank you un-holy wood and the demonic pedophile hateful greed-mongering Goebbels that inhabit it. We are all slaves of the debt based banking cartel: “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” -Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Country is being auctioned off piece by piece and all we can do is revive the pains caused by the very people who are doing this to us today. Keep drinking the fluoride eating gmo taking your vaccines and hating one another like a good little zombie.

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  5.   eltarheel says:
    Posted: 07 Nov 13

    Admittedly I haven't seen this movie and I don't plan to, at least not in the theater. Mainly because I've already been down this road before so to speak with movies like Malcolm X (the best movie ever made in my opinion) and Jungle Fever. When I was younger I probably would've taken my date to see '12 years a slave'. But not now that I'm older and a little more 'mature', lol. I find it hard to believe that my date would not be affected to some degree about the film's subject matter. And I want my date to have fun on our date, not be reminded of a painful past of our history. Now I'm not saying to people out there not to go see this film because I hear it's pretty good, Oscar worthy even. However from personal experience I wouldn't take my date to see this movie because the subject matter is just too rough. At least that's the way I feel.

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  6.   dave_74 says:
    Posted: 07 Nov 13

    Lupita Nyong'o makes Kenya proud. I'm glad she got her award. My wife and I are looking forward to seeing this movie. I totally understand how some people such as IR couples might be uncomfortable viewing this but hopefully IR couples have gotten past blaming an entire race for actions done in the past by people of similar skin tone. If you can not do that then perhaps you shouldn't be in an IR relationship in the first place.

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